"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days," said the country's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern hours after a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle shot and killed 40 people at two mosques in Christchurch. The gunman believed to be a 28-year old Australian Brenton Tarrant live streamed the episode on Facebook.
Moments before the shooting occurred, the gunman is heard saying, “Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.”
The attacks began at about 1:40 p.m., not long after the midday Friday prayer, when the mosques would be most busy. The 17-minute video, which appeared to be recorded on a helmet camera, shows him driving to the mosque as he says "let's get this party started". This is followed by visuals of him firing on the worshipers in one of the mosques. He then flees the building, runs back to his car and brings out another weapon. Soon after he is seen re-entering the mosque and again begins shooting.
Hours later, PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, 29-year-old YouTuber and comedian with 89 million subscribers, tweeted, "I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy."
Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch.
I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.
My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) March 15, 2019
Soon after the world heard the gunman utter 'PewDiePie', hate had begun on the Internet.
But thankfully, there are sane people too in this world. And on the Internet. At the time of writing this, #PewdiPie is trending on Twitter and lots of them have come out to show support to the YouTuber.
If you use pewdiepie and the recent Christchurch shooting in New Zealand to further some political agenda, you are legit scum of the earth. People lost their family members today, focus on that, and focus on condemning hate crimes like this.— Mightykeef @PAXEAST (@MightyKeef) March 15, 2019
A lone psychopath's words should not be taken at face value, this guy had pages of a manifesto.
He was Evil, plain and simple. pic.twitter.com/AKG1ljZGnf— Protomario (@Protomario) March 15, 2019
The sane Internet is trying to explain to the rest of the Internet that PewdiPie had nothing to do with the attack.
Its not pewdiepie's fucking fault. Anyone could say anything before they kill someone. A shooter could say "I LOVE OBAMA" does that mean obama supporters are shooters? NO! HE SAID WORDS TO CREATE A BUZZ! THATS HIS FUCKING GOAL— brandon (@brandon_0627) March 15, 2019
There no possible way you pin the blame onto pewdiepie for the mass shooting he had nothing to do with it just because he said sub to pewdiepie doesn't mean hes responsible pewdiepie even discouraged anyone to do anything illegal the media is not going to foget this pic.twitter.com/K7FSTfJmOy— 曇り空 (@7XqrqCzLdaGxnzr) March 15, 2019
I don’t like Pewdiepie, I’m not a fan of him or his content... but if you’re actually going to try to blame him for the shootings in New Zealand, that’s just fucking stupid— RedLanternReviews (@RedLnternreview) March 15, 2019
Blame #Pewdiepie for the shooting > Blame the shooter. Internet is so fucked up. Stay Strong New Zealand.— Christophe Renaud (@_ChrisRenaud) March 15, 2019
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that four people had been taken into custody, three men and one woman. As of 5:47 p.m. local time (12:47 a.m. ET), authorities said that a lockdown of local schools had been lifted.